Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Downloadable Audibooks

Have you looked at the downloadable audiobooks recently? New titles are constantly being added. These are some of the titles that were added in April:

Title

Author

Armageddon in Retrospect

Vonnegut, Kurt

The Ex-Debutante

Lee, Linda Francis

The Finder

Harrison, Colin

Hold Tight

Coben, Harlan

Light of the Moon

Rice, Luanne

Sex and the Seasoned Woman

Sheehy, Gail

The Siege

Lasky, Kathryn

Talking to Dragons

Wrede, Patricia

The Ten-Year Nap

Wolitzer, Meg

This Republic of Suffering

Faust, Drew Gilpin

Unaccustomed Earth

Lahiri, Jhumpa

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cheap Trick!


Daughters of the North by Sarah Hall is about a future England in which a combination of global climate change and a fuel shortage has led to the creation of an all powerful new government called The Authority. The book is written in journal format and describes the dismal lives people lead in cramped quarters working pointless, filthy factory jobs. When Sister is sterilized against her will by the government it is the last straw. Sister risks her life with a daring escape from the city to a utopian farm community of all women. Fascinating premise, isn’t it? I thought so, and was enjoying Sister’s dramatic tale of survival until the author decided to opt out of writing a big chunk of the book. The women of the farm learn that The Authority is coming to destroy their community. They prepare to fight, then suddenly the fight is over. I was flipping back and forth wondering if pages had been left out of my edition when I see a sneaky little heading at the top of the page, “DATA LOST”. What a cop out! I don’t know if the author didn’t want to deal with writing battle scenes, (she certainly had no qualms writing about violence previously), was bored with where the story was going, or simply did not know how to end her book.

I certainly hope other authors don’t resort to this bogus trick on their readers. What if Jane Austen hadn’t known what do with Mr. Darcy and merely leapt to the ending? How about we delete the whole battle of wits between Moby Dick and Ahab and just skip to 'And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.'

Ok, I am done ranting. For now.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Glimpse into the Past

Foster’s Daily Democrat ran this advertisement for a grocery store April 24,1901. Five pounds of coffee went for $1.00, sugar was .08 a pound. I wonder what the price of gas was then?

If you are curious about what dog bread is, (don’t read this if you have a weak stomach!) read this excerpt from the Henley's Twentieth Century Book of Formulas Processes, and Trade Secrets by Gardner D. Hiscox.

Dog Biscuit:
The waste portions of meat and tallow, including the skin and fiber, have for years been imported from South American tallow factories in the form of blocks. Most of the dog bread consists principally of these remnants, chopped and mixed with flour. They contain a good deal of firm fibrous tissue, and a large percentage of fat, but are lacking in nutritive salts, which must be added to make good dog bread, just as in the case of the meat flour made from the waste of meat extract factories. The flesh of dead animals is not used by any reputable manufacturers, for the reason that it gives a dark color to the dough, has an unpleasant odor, and if not properly sterilized would be injurious to dogs as a steady diet.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Not Charmed

Ok I am a little behind the times, but I just found out that Kendall Hart wrote a novel. Yes THE Kendall Hart. Don't know who she is? Ok I didn't either but she is a character on ABC's All My Children. That's right she is a character and she wrote a book titled Charm!. Apparently her husband and best friend (and enemy) were missing for a month, eventually found trapped in a mine shaft, so she had some time on her hands. Now everyone knows it only takes a month to write a novel. The book has been published by Hyperion, which is owned by Disney, as is ABC. I find this cross marketing disturbing. My thinking is that there are struggling authors out there, writing great novels, who can't catch a break because publishers are spending their time with books like Charm!. (I could go on but I have been told no one wants to hear my rantings.) Ok I haven't read it, and I suppose it could be the next great american novel, but I am still skeptical. If you would like to read Charm! the library owns it. Think I am a curmudgeon? Let me know--I can take it I've been called worse.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Get Your Hands Dirty

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty anxious to get my fingers into the dirt and start planting stuff. Unfortunately, New Hampshire weather will just not cooperate with my yen for flowers. In order to satisfy my need to garden, I am planning ahead to the fabulous container garden I will create. Every year I plant a huge pot differently; one year it was all purple and silver plants, the next year I chose white flowers mixed with red and white striped petunias. Last year was a riot of yellow, red, blue and white flowers. I am looking for something different for this summer so I am browsing through The Complete Book of Container Gardening by Alan Toogood and Hanging Baskets, Window Boxes and other Container Gardens by David Joyce to get some ideas. Toogood’s book has some interesting ideas for specialty container gardens to attract wildlife, or for scent. What do you think of a red, white, and blue container garden? Too traditional? I would love to hear what creative combinations you have used in your container gardens.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Julie & Brownie Present "Healthy Choices"

Children’s entertainers, Julie & Brownie, will perform their delightful new show, “Healthy Choices”, in the Dover Public Library Lecture Hall on Tuesday, April 22 @ 2:00pm. With music, comedy, visuals and audience participation, Julie & Brownie’s performance and original songs encourage children to make healthy choices when it comes to food and safety. This show, that has earned critical praise and has launched them on tours throughout eastern United States and Canada, is being sponsored by Wentworth Douglass Hospital.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Calling All Dover Libraries

We get some strange reference questions but one of the oddest was, “Do you have the skull of Patty Cannon?” We checked the Internet to see what that was all about because we certainly don’t have any skulls here at the Library. We found out that Patty Cannon was notorious for capturing free black people in Delaware and selling them into slavery. She died in jail 1829 while she was being held on four counts of murder. She is thought to be buried in a nearby Potter's Field; except for her skull which is now said to be stored in a hatbox at the Dover, Delaware Library.

It’s not the first time we have gotten a question intended for the Dover Public Library in Delaware. Someone else called to ask who was Miss Delaware in 1964.

We also got a call asking about the Dover’s tragic mining accident. This stumped us until we figured out they were enquiring about Dover, England. Rich coal seams near Dover, England were heavily mined through shafts sunk into coal pits. August 22nd 1908, at the Maypole pit, close to Dover, a mining accident resulted in 75 lives lost due to an explosion.

I am still trying to figure out which Dover library has a collection of art by a famous pin-up artist. Do you know?

These are just a few the Dover Libraries. If you have a question, make sure you contact the right one!

Dover Public Library- Dover, Arkansas
Dover Public Library -Dover, Delaware
Hare Bay/Dover Public Library- Hare Bay Newfoundland, Canada
Dover Town Library
Dover, Massachusetts

Dover Free Public
Dover, New Jersey

Dover Plains Library
- Wingdale, New York

Dover Public Library
- Dover, Ohio
Dover Area Community Library -Dover, Pennsylvania
Dover Free Library
- Dover, Vermont

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Can a Photo Lie?

You have seen deceptive photos before. You must have been e-mailed that picture of a man holding a domestic house cat that appears to be the size of a cougar, or the photo of President Bush reading an upside down book. The retouching of photos has become so easy that the software that enables you to do it has become a verb.

Sometimes photos are misleading without any help at all. Louis Masur has written a book, The Soiling of Old Glory, about a Pulitzer Prize winning photo. Stanley Forman's shocking "Old Glory" photograph was shot during a 1976 Boston anti-busing demonstration. It appeared to show a well dressed black man being set upon by a crowd of white people. A young man seemed to be attempting to impale him with the American flag. The photo became symbolic of continued resistance to equality and was printed in newspapers across the country. In reality the teenager was swinging the flag, not charging, the camera caught the arc of the flag swinging in front of the black man. The man who appears to be restraining him was actually helping him to his feet. It was such a powerful image, even though it was misleading, it successfully stalled Boston’s anti busing movement. Read this book to find out what truly happened, exposed through interviews and other images on the camera.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

THE DEADLINE IS HERE!!!!

Today is the very last day to enter the Dover Public Library's Poetry Contest for kids in grades k-12!!! I bet you thought I was talking about the IRS deadline, taxes schmaxes I am sick to death of hearing about them. Poetry is infinitely more interesting so run, walk, bike, or skateboard yourself down to the library to get your poem in. Oh and if you are a tax slacker and haven't done your taxes yet we have tax forms too. Good luck to all.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Take A Ride On The Cash Cab

Many librarians love trivia; we are after all, in the information business. One of my favorite shows on the Discovery Channel is Cash Cab. Unsuspecting New Yorkers hail a cab and suddenly find themselves in a movable game show. They have the chance to win money for every correct answer; if they get 3 answers wrong they get tossed out of the cash cab. I usually feel brilliant after being able to answer most of the questions and shocked by some of the things that regular people don’t know. Nothing like a little ego stroking to make your day. Every now and then the cab driver asks a series of questions that makes me question my intellect. Oh well, win some, lose some. If you want to test your wits against the cash cab you can try their quiz. You must answer 12 questions. The first ones are real softballs like what was the name of cartoon character Calvin’s stuffed tiger. They get a little trickier later on but they are multiple choice so you can always guess. So go on, how smart are you? I got 11 out of 12.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Appearance Can Be Misleading

I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover. Some book cover art is so striking that you cannot help wanting to read the book. If the inside is as good as the outside, you will have a fabulous read. One of the covers I have really liked recently is The Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz. The slightly 3-D effect of the eyes cut into the cover perfectly conveys the humorous feel of the book, and all those watching eyes perfectly exemplify the Spellman family who cannot stop spying on each other. In this case, a fun, catchy cover matched the fun, enjoyable story inside.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is another example of a book that fulfills the promise of its cover. The enchanting, Alice Hoffmanesque story of the Waverly women and the peculiar talents they inherited, their temperamental apple tree, and a mysterious walled garden that blooms year round, is by turns touching, enthralling, and amusing.

On the flip side, there are those covers that lead to disappointment. Take Narrow Dog to Carcassonne by Terry Darlington. The brightly colored, cute cover caught my eye; the topics were right up my alley. A retired English couple takes a narrowboat ( I always wanted to take a narrowboat cruise) from England ( I love books about England) across the channel into France ( I love books about France too) and down the many lovely canals to the ancient city of Carcassonne. To top it off they brought their whippet Jim with them ( I love books about dogs). All these topics should blend together to make a perfect storm of a book. Sadly, the book plodded wearily along: I gave up halfway through. Perhaps it was the odd blue typeface that threw me off. If you have read the whole book and can tell me the tale improves, let me know, I will persevere.

Is there a book cover that you remember as being perfectly outstanding, or perfectly misleading?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What was your favorite childhood film?

We are currently planning the library's summer movie schedule for kids. We will be showing some new releases that cannot be mentioned here due to our licensing agreement with the studios, but we are also thinking of showing some classics. Of course when I bring this up with staff members they say "...you have to show such & such because it was my favorite." Do you have suggestions? What was your favorite? My personal favorite is The Jungle Book and lucky for you this blog doesn't have sound or you would hear me belting out "The Bare Necessities" song--oh the simple bare necessities...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This year's Pulitzer Prizes have just been announced:

FICTION:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

HISTORY:
What Hath God Wrought: the transformation of America 1815--1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

BIOGRAPHY:
Eden's Outcasts: the story of Louisa May Alcott and her father by John Matteson

POETRY:
Time and Materials: poems 1997--2005 by Robert Hass

Failure by Philip Schultz

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Great Book for Animal Lovers


Tell Me Where It Hurts by Dr. Nick Trout
It looks like we finally have a successor to the charming, heartwarming, and humorous stories of James Herriott. Nick Trout is also an Englishman, but he works just down the road from us at Boston’s Angell Animal Medical Center. The book starts off with a bang as Nick is called in to the hospital in the middle of the night by a panicked intern. A German Shepherd has arrived suffering bloat, a life threatening condition. Sage is the last gift from an elderly widower’s late wife, and means the world to him. Will the vet be able to save the loving Shepherd, who manages to wag her tail at him through her pain? Many of the stories are very humorous like that of Taco the man hating Chihuahua and the Labrador puppy that exposes a cheating fiancĂ© by eating the fish net stocking of his mistress. Some are sad as not all pets can be saved, no matter how dearly loved. Times have changed from what the good Doctor Herriott was able to offer and there is much discussion of modern technology and the philosophical questions it poses for vets and owners. How far should you go to save the life of your pet? This book was intriguing and enjoyable, I didn’t want to put it down. Another librarian is listening to the audio book and says the narrator has been fantastic, she has been laughing at loud, as well as almost in tears.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Richard Steinbach Art on Display

Richard Steinbach, a Dover artist who began painting at age 50, has a display of many his paintings in the Reference Room. Make sure to come see them!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Library Redecorates

I was just inspired by the March 2008 issue of Country Home magazine! The room designer wanted to "turn a distracting jumble into a neutral element" and so turned all the books on the bookshelves spine-inward:

This lovely monotonal palette of ecru, buff, cream, wheat and linen-colored pages had such instant appeal that I've made an executive decision to turn all of our library's 100,000 volumes backwards too! Won't it be fun to try and find a book? Every trip to the library will be like a scavenger hunt! I know our reference librarians will just love the change! It will, however, be more difficult for those who can only remember that the book they need "had a red cover".

Note to some aghast readers: remember to take a look at the date on this post!